Saturday, April 22, 2017

Arctic Sea Ice & Antarctic Sea Ice Are Different Types - 2

These are the days daze when talking science about the cryosphere is considered to be "climate porn" (Pole Dancing In The Lab) by nutbags in power (Earth Day Pioneer Calls It A ‘Day Of Mourning’ This Year Thanks To Trump).

I don't mean run of the mill nutbags, I mean certifiably nutbag:
"Donald Trump has a 'dangerous mental illness' and is not fit to lead the US, a group of psychiatrists has warned during a conference at Yale University.

Mental health experts claimed the President was 'paranoid and delusional', and said it was their 'ethical responsibility' to warn the American public about the 'dangers' Mr Trump’s psychological state poses to the country.

Speaking at the conference at Yale’s School of Medicine on Thursday, one of the mental health professionals, Dr John Gartner, a practising psychotherapist who advised psychiatric residents at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, said: 'We have an ethical responsibility to warn the public about Donald Trump's dangerous mental illness.'
Dr Gartner started an online petition earlier this year on calling for Mr Trump to be removed from office, which claims that he is 'psychologically incapable of competently discharging the duties of President'. The petition has so far garnered more than 41,000 signatures [signed exclusively by mental health professionals].

It states: 'We, the undersigned mental health professionals (please state your degree), believe in our professional judgment that Donald Trump manifests a serious mental illness that renders him psychologically incapable of competently discharging the duties of President of the United States.'"
(Donald Trump has 'dangerous mental illness', emphasis added). Forty one thousand mental health care officials stuck their necks out by signing that petition.

Bravo for the brave.

Guided by financial / fossil fuel interests, establishment "parts are parts," "ice is ice," and "olde timey cryosphere" scientists have traditionally been the last to get in touch with some of the more serious cryosphere realities (The Ghost-Water Constant - 9).

For example, concerning Antarctic ice sheets and shelves, a few days ago a scientist remarked that nobody has been that interested in considering Antarctic surface melt, because most scientists were told that it was relatively rare (Water is streaming across Antarctica, Phys Org).


But, as regular readers know, Dredd Blog is counter to that culture (Arctic Sea Ice & Antarctic Sea Ice Are Different Types).

I know some of the differences in the two polar sea ice extents because I have written two software modules to calculate / estimate the time frame when polar sea-ice will cease to form on the surface of both northern and southern polar waters.

The northern sea-ice is due to months of the effects of winter cold, while in darkness, creating a floating ice cap.

The southern sea-ice is due to melt-water flowing from Antarctica's ice-sheet and ice-shelf into the ocean during warm months, then freezing at the surface during colder months (if it does not get carried away by ocean currents).

The graph at Fig. 1 shows the general maximum and minimum sea-ice extent at both poles.


I wrote about the northern sea-ice module (Arctic) recently (When Will The Arctic Sea-ice Be Gone?).
Fig. 2 Sea-ice history

I have now made the southern sea-ice (Antarctic) module active, so I thought I would show it's calculations in today's post.

The graph at Fig. 2 shows the recorded history of Antarctic sea-ice extent.
Fig. 3 Estimated Sea-ice future

It is distinctly different from the Arctic pattern (ibid, When Will The Arctic Sea-ice Be Gone?).

In light of the recent paper on Antarctic surface melt (The Ghost-Water Constant - 9) the pattern makes more sense.

Likewise, the projected future pattern (Fig. 3) also makes more sense IMO, since the Antarctic sea-ice is an extension of the ice shelves (which do not exist in the Arctic ice-cap scenario).

When the ice shelves go, the ice will then be generated as ice bergs calving off the ice streams and glaciers of the ice sheet rather than by melt water flowing off the ice shelves.

The graph at Fig. 3 indicates that Antarctic summer sea-ice extent, of the nature or type we now observe, will be gone circa 2058, while the mostly ice-berg type ice will continue on well past 2100 (Arctic sea-ice will not last as long: When Will The Arctic Sea-ice Be Gone?).


Let's hope that American scientists still exist at that time, so as to observe the changes in the future of sea-ice.

The previous post in this series is here.

Friday, April 21, 2017

The Ghost-Water Constant - 9

"I see ghost water"
I. Going Forward

Today, let's talk about a new kind of ghost-water, which is different, in terms of physical characteristics, from the ghost-water this series usually talks about.

Nevertheless, in terms of why this new ghost-water has not been "seen" before, it is the same.

That is, the ghost-waters are the same, in that, they are somehow hidden in plain sight (The Ghost-Water Constant, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).

II. Someone With Eyes
Wrote It Down

There are many ways to keep people from seeing what is in plain sight, but more often than not, pretty soon some light shines through, and the ghost appears.

For example, let's start with a new paper, printed in the journal Nature, which says this about the new ghost water:
"Surface meltwater drains across ice sheets, forming melt ponds that can trigger ice-shelf collapse ... acceleration of grounded ice flow and increased sea-level rise ... Numerical models of the Antarctic Ice Sheet that incorporate meltwater’s impact on ice shelves, but ignore the movement of water across the ice surface, predict a metre of global sea-level rise this century ... in response to atmospheric warming ... To understand the impact of water moving across the ice surface a broad quantification of surface meltwater and its drainage is needed. Yet, despite extensive research in Greenland ... and observations of individual drainage systems in Antarctica ... we have little understanding of Antarctic-wide surface hydrology or how it will evolve. Here we show widespread drainage of meltwater across the surface of the ice sheet through surface streams and ponds (hereafter ‘surface drainage’) as far south as 85° S and as high as 1,300 metres above sea level. Our findings are based on satellite imagery from 1973 onwards and aerial photography from 1947 onwards. Surface drainage has persisted for decades, transporting water up to 120 kilometres from grounded ice onto and across ice shelves, feeding vast melt ponds up to 80 kilometres long. Large-scale surface drainage could deliver water to areas of ice shelves vulnerable to collapse, as melt rates increase this century. While Antarctic surface melt ponds are relatively well documented on some ice shelves, we have discovered that ponds often form part of widespread, large-scale surface drainage systems. In a warming climate, enhanced surface drainage could accelerate future ice-mass loss from Antarctic, potentially via positive feedbacks between the extent of exposed rock, melting and thinning of the ice sheet."
(Nature, emphasis added). Wow, recently a river disappeared abruptly (Climate change stole a Yukon river almost overnight), surprising scientists who were studying it.

Now, in another location, rivers surprisingly "appear out of nowhere" on top of "it will never melt" Antarctica?

III. Really, It Wasn't Discoverable?

Those seasonal rivers said to "appear out of nowhere" on top of Antarctica's ice sheets and shelves had been there for decades.

So, this "for the first time" discovery of them is suspicious IMO.

Remember, we have eye witness accounts of suppression of some types of scientific discovery:
"I suspect the existence of what I call the `John Mercer effect'. Mercer (1978) suggested that global warming from burning of fossil fuels could lead to disastrous disintegration of the West Antarctic ice sheet, with a sea level rise of several meters worldwide. This was during the era when global warming was beginning to get attention from the United States Department of Energy and other science agencies. I noticed that scientists who disputed Mercer, suggesting that his paper was alarmist, were treated as being more authoritative.

It was not obvious who was right on the science, but it seemed to me, and I believe to most scientists, that the scientists preaching caution and downplaying the dangers of climate change fared better in receipt of research funding. Drawing attention to the dangers of global warming may or may not have helped increase funding for relevant scientific areas, but it surely did not help individuals like Mercer who stuck their heads out. I could vouch for that from my own experience. After I published a paper (Hansen et al 1981) that described likely climate effects of fossil fuel use, the Department of Energy reversed a decision to fund our research, specifically highlighting and criticizing aspects of that paper at a workshop in Coolfont, West Virginia and in publication (MacCracken 1983).

I believe there is a pressure on scientists to be conservative. Papers are accepted for publication more readily if they do not push too far and are larded with caveats. Caveats are essential to science, being born in skepticism, which is essential to the process of investigation and verification. But there is a question of degree. A tendency for `gradualism' as new evidence comes to light may be ill-suited for communication, when an issue with a short time fuse is concerned."
(On Thermal Expansion & Thermal Contraction - 8, quoting Dr. James Hansen). I am sure he was sincere when he indicated "there is a pressure on scientists to be conservative."

I am also sure where that "pressure" has been coming from (Smoke & Fumes, The Shapeshifters of Bullshitistan - 5).

IV. The Ghost-Water Knowledge
Has Been Ignored

It has been indicated here on Dredd Blog that the ice sheets began melting in the late 1700's.

That time frame is only a couple of decades or so after the beginning of the industrial revolution (Weekend Rebel Science Excursion - 54).

V. So, What Now?

We need to do two things (at least?).

The first is to embrace the reality of acceleration (The Question Is: How Much Acceleration Is Involved In SLR?, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9).

The second is to stop denying the reality around us, and let our "eyes" see it all (You Are Here).

You think of some other things we need to do, if there are any.

VI. Conclusion

If officials continue with their denial it will result in catastrophes that are beyond our imagination.

The previous post in this series is here.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Agnotology: The Surge - 20

Deadly Corporate Media Denial
I. Faux Snooze

There is a clear and growing awareness in the public, of the United States at large, about the reality of climate change (Global Warming Concern at Three-Decade High in US, Gallup Poll).

This, in spite of a dearth of coverage in the media: "In 2016, evening newscasts and Sunday shows on ABC, CBS, and NBC, as well as Fox Broadcast Co.'s Fox News Sunday, collectively decreased their total coverage of climate change by 66 percent compared to 2015" (Media Matters, cf. Media Matters Report Shows Stunning Lack of Climate Change Coverage on TV Networks in 2016).

Thus, the U.S. presstitutes (In the Fog of The Presstitutes, 2, 3, 4) are operating like the third world media: "Overall, we find that about 40 percent of adults worldwide have never heard of climate change. This rises to more than 65 percent in some developing countries, like Egypt, Bangladesh and India" (Climate Change Awareness and Concern in 119 Countries, Yale Univ.).

But, the public is aware of the presstitutes, and they do not like them (Americans' Trust in Mass Media Sinks to New Low, Americans' View of Press).

Meanwhile, the hear-no-climate change, see-no-climate-change, and say-no-climate-change ideology has landed its first government (voted in by a minority - right-wing voters).

So, now the Administrative and Legislative branches of American government are controlled by climate deniers.

The Judicial branch may not be as far gone, but they too are headed in that direction (Here Come De Conservative Judges, 2, 3, 4, 5).

II. The Military Is Not With The Deniers

For the better part of a decade Dredd Blog has been pointing out that the military sees global warming induced climate change as the greatest threat to the security of Americans:
A recent report will catch the attention of anyone who can focus enough to see down the road further than their nose:
"The CNA Corporation brought together eleven retired three-star and four-star admirals and generals [they lost it so use The Wayback Machine Version] to provide advice, expertise and perspective on the impact of climate change. CNAC writers and researchers compiled the report under the board's direction and review.

The report includes several formal findings:

* Projected climate change poses a serious threat to America's national security.

* Climate change acts as a threat multiplier for instability in some of the most volatile regions of the world.

* Projected climate change will add to tensions even in stable regions of the world.

* Climate change, national security and energy dependence are a related set of global challenges."
(Global Climate & Homeland Insecurity, Dredd Blog, 2009). This was followed up on more recently (Global Climate & Homeland Insecurity - 2, Dredd Blog, 2016).

The conundrum this presents is palpable:
"We spend more on national security than the rest of the world combined ..."

"The Military is the lead federal agency on climate change ... and that is ... extremely dangerous ... we may lose the republic ..."
(Professor / Colonel Wilkerson, quoted from video below). The increase in military spending on conventional squabbles, while cutting environmental spending, is madness of the criminal sort (MOMCOM's Mass Suicide & Murder Pact, 2, 3, 4, 5).

III. Civilization's Trance

The civilization meme complex is a product of the darkest and oldest of trances:
"In other words, a society does not ever die 'from natural causes', but always dies from suicide or murder --- and nearly always from the former, as this chapter has shown." - A Study of History, by Arnold J. Toynbee
(When You Are Governed By Psychopaths - 7). After all these years of recorded history we as a species have not learned to choose our trances carefully (Choose Your Trances Carefully, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).

IV. Conclusion

After all these eons and epochs, once again: Civilization Is Now On Suicide Watch, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

The previous post in this series is here.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

When Will The Arctic Sea-ice Be Gone?

Fig. 1 Arctic Sea-ice history
I. Background

The expectations and predictions concerning the loss of the "polar ice cap" or Arctic sea-ice are varied.

That is, they are much like sea level rise expectations and predictions in the sense that the span of time when relevant events could take place covers spans of time of a decade or so in variation (Independent, June, 2016).

For example, one expert who has extensive experience indicates that it is going to take place sooner than expected:
"The Arctic is on track to be free of sea ice this year or next for the first time in more than 100,000 years, a leading scientist has claimed.
Fig. 2 Arctic Sea-ice projection
'My prediction remains that the Arctic ice may well disappear, that is, have an area of less than one million square kilometres for September of this year,' he said."
“I think there’s a reasonable chance it could get down to a million this year and if it doesn’t do it this year, it will do it next year."
(ibid, Independent, June, 2016). The sea-ice extent did reach the lowest ever, or close to it, in September of 2016, but did not quite get to where he expected.

The looks of things now are that it will have a better chance of doing so this September, as he also indicated ("this year or next").

II. Calculation Module

As I indicated in a previous post, I am working on a module to project when it will happen (The Evolution of Models - 21).

The graphs at Fig. 1 and Fig. 2 were produced by the first beta version of the module.

The Fig. 1 graph is pure history generated by using the NSIDC database, while Fig. 2 is that history, plus calculations projecting the expected future based on the known and recorded past.

III. Some Sea-ice Nomenclature

If you read the post in the link I quoted from, "ice free" is not an absolute concept, as you can discern from Professor Wadhams' definition: "an area of less than one million square kilometres".

With that in mind, the module I wrote uses a high / low concept, meaning that the Arctic will at first be ice free in some future September, but some ice will reappear during the following winter.

The graph at Fig. 2 shows the low extent time frame as to when to reach the first phase circa 2024, but reaching Professor Wadhams' definition of "ice free" a year prior to that in circa 2023 (ice free in 6 or 7 years from now).

The remainder is calculated to be "ice free" circa 2037-2038 (20-21 years) according to the initial calculations (an IPCC-type conservative estimate).

IV. Historical Gyrations

As you can see from the actual historical figures (Fig. 1), the highs and lows show some intense gyrations from year to year.

It is not a smooth ride.

That is why models can give a true general projection, but are less able to project abrupt climate change events, even though abrupt climate change is a certainty (Climate change stole a Yukon river almost overnight).

V. Conclusion

The drawback in the module I am working on is that it does not yet do partial years.

The NSIDC data began late in 1978 (March highs missing), and the current year 2017 is just now underway (September lows missing), so I do not include those two partial years in the history handling section of the module.

I plan to do some work in that area so that even partial years can be reasonably used in the module's CSV file generation.

That means better graphs in the future.

Stay tuned.

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Evolution of Models - 21

Fig. 1 Euro model vs. US model
The world's best weather forecasting model is not a production, it is European software (Fig. 1).

Fig. 2 Arctic Sea-ice extent
Global-warming-induced climate change deniers think that weather forecast models are "climate porn" (Pole Dancing In The Lab).

Fig. 3 NSIDC Arctic 15% graph
Nevertheless, that may all change because the denialist government is not shutting down development of an improved model.

They are shutting down the State Department, Environmental Protection Agency, and other agencies that help Americans.

They are doing so while beefing up militarism, propaganda, and hate mongering (When You Are Governed By Psychopaths - 7).

But, they are allowing a development team to proceed with upgrades (Lin Development Team).

The decision to allow that development to proceed may result in a forecast model that can compete with or outperform the European model (Take that, Europe. Computer modeler aims to give U.S. lead in weather predictions).

Who knows, the denier powers that be may also allow funding for improving sea-level models to go forward.

Not all of them deny climate change, they just say it is not caused by their political-career sponsors (Humble Oil-Qaeda).

One wonders if the U.S. model technical improvements will spill over into ice sheet, ice-shelf, and general sea-ice extent forecasts.

The graph at Fig. 2 is generated from the latest NSIDC data in the Arctic dataset, and is a bit different when compared to the NSIDC "15% coverage" graph shown at Fig. 3.

I am working on some ideas for a sea-ice extent projection model that tries to anticipate the future of the sea-ice extent in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

I hope to be able to show some beta runs later this week.

The previous post in this series is here.